AUSTRALIA'S SHAME: Chronic Child Abuse in NT Youth Detention - Royal Commission NOW
This petition had 19,952 supporters
The maltreatment of children in Northern Territory youth detention centres is a national disgrace that requires a national inquiry. A Four Corners report have revealed that children have been tear-gassed inside their cells, forcibly stripped naked, hooded and strapped to restraining chairs for hours, and isolated in windowless cells for weeks. The way that these children are being treated is classified by the UN as torture.
According to the program, this abuse is perpetuated at every level of the system: the officers employed to care for these children instead bully and brutalise them, and the highest levels of the NT government have apparently obfuscated the extent and nature of what is taking place. Only a Royal Commission will be able to uncover the depth of this maltreatment.
Ninety-five percent of NT detainees are Indigenous. The Four Corners program shows that our most vulnerable are being disproportionately incarcerated and also irreversibly physically and psychologically abused.
Only a Royal Commission – with its wide ranging powers of investigation – will be able to uncover: the extent of the abuse; the impact of the abuse upon the children; the institutional factors permitting such maltreatment; who knew about this abuse; what they did about it; who should be held accountable; and what safeguards can put in place to ensure that children are safe from abuse in NT detention centres in the future.
Without the scrutiny of a Royal Commission, there is great risk that the perpetrators of this abuse, and those who have done nothing to curtail it, will go unchallenged. The underlying attitudes of the institutions responsible will remain unchecked and unabated.
Only a Royal Commission can correct such entrenched abuse.
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